Erica Garner, the 27-year-old daughter of Eric Garner, who died after being put in a chokehold by a police officer in 2014, is in a coma after suffering a heart attack on Saturday.
Garner, a mother of two, suffered “major brain damage from a lack of oxygen while in cardiac arrest”, according to a statement posted on her official Twitter account. The LA Times reports that on Thursday morning, family members were called to the Brooklyn hospital where Erica is on life support to say their goodbyes.
Read on to learn more about Erica Garner’s family.
1. She Has Four Siblings
Erica has four siblings: Shardineé, Emerald, Eric Jr. and Emery.
After their father’s death, Emerald, the third oldest, created a fund through Indiegogo to raise money for the Garner siblings. In just one month, the fundraising page raised $44,567. The page is no longer active.
In the “Our Story” section of the campaign, Emerald wrote, “My dad was our everything he was here for my siblings and I since day one.”
According to his Facebook page, Eric Garner Jr., a basketball player, attended Kentucky University. In September of last year, Eric Jr. posted a painting of his father, and captioned the photo, “A very special Happy birthday to my pops I love u and miss u everyday and know u watching down on me just keep guiding me in the right path 😇😇”
2. Her Parents Married In August 1989
Esaw Snipes and Eric Garner were married in August 1989.
According to Emerald’s statement on the family’s Indiegogo page, Snipes was mother to eight-month-old Shardinee when she first met Eric Garner. Emerald writes that Eric “stepped up and took over” the role of being a father to Shardinee after marrying her mother.
On October 23, Erica posted a photo to Facebook from her daughter, Alyssa’s, first birthday party. Her father and mother are pictured, as well.
3. She Is a Mother of Two Children
Erica has two children.
Her youngest son was born in August. According to the New York Daily News, she named him after her father, Eric Garner.
On December 30, 2016, Erica and her daughter visited her father’s memorial. Erica posted a photo of the occasion to her Twitter, with the caption, “My daughter and I at my father’s memorial at the spot where he was murdered.”
4. Both Erica and Her Father Suffer from Asthma
Erica’s heart attack, which led to the coma, was brought on by an asthma attack, according to NBC New York.
Eric, Erica’s father, suffered from the same condition. The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that while the chokehold Garner was put in caused his death, asthma and heart disease were contributing factors. The chokehold Eric was put in by officer Daniel Pantaleo lasted anywhere from 15 to 19 seconds.
According to NBC, this is not Erica’s first experience with heart attacks. She suffered her first not long after giving birth to her youngest son in August. “Doctors said Erica Garner’s pregnancy had put a strain on her heart, which was later found to be enlarged,” the outlet writes.
5. Eric Garner Has a 2-Year-Old Daughter with a Woman Named Jewel Miller
Garner has a two-year-old daughter, Legacy, with a woman named Jewel Miller. The New York Daily News first reported the news in July 2015, in an article titled, “EXCLUSIVE: DNA test shows 1-year-old girl is daughter of police chokehold victim Eric Garner.”
According to the article, Eric Garner had been living with Jewel, his girlfriend, for more than three years at the time of his death. Miller says she was shunned by the Garner family. She told the outlet, “[The Garners] knew [Legacy] was his (Eric’s) daughter but they didn’t want the public to know so they could keep up the image of the happily married husband and wife together which was the farthest thing from the truth.”
In July 2015, Esaw was asked about Legacy by the New York Daily News. “As far as her being accepted into our family, that’ll never happen,” she told the outlet.
At the center of the issue is how much money Legacy is legally entitled to. According to The NY Daily News, “Legal experts said Esaw and the biological children are entitled to portions of any cash that comes from the civil suit, but Legacy would be entitled to the bulk of the payout because she is the youngest heir.”
In 2015, Garner’s estate was reportedly paid $5.9 million after they filed a claim for “damages related to his death.”